Surviving Dinner – Creamy Pesto Pasta

Lots of recipes claim they can be cooked in 20 minutes or less.  Some nights are so busy, even that’s too long.  “Surviving Dinner” is a series that is not about good wifeing, mothering, or cooking.  It’s about surviving.  It’s for those nights when you’re tempted to write “fast food” on the menu, but cooking at home will save you a few dollars, a few hundred calories, and loads of mommy-guilt.  Recipes found here can be cooked quickly and have minimal prep and clean-up.  Some may require a little pre-planning, but many won’t.

I think I’ve been pretty clear about my love of pesto.  Here is another quick, delicious variation!  If you have extra time you can put the end result in a greased baking dish, top with cheese, and bake for 30 minutes to transform it into a casserole.  Because let’s be honest.  What doesn’t taste better with extra gooey cheese on top?

Survival Menu:

  • Creamy pesto pasta with chicken & broccoli


  • 1/2 box bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 jar reduced fat alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 jar pesto
  • broccoli (frozen or fresh)
  • chicken (either leftover & chopped from another night’s meal, or frozen pre-cooked grilled chicken strips)

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Throw the broccoli in with the pasta in the final few minutes of cooking.  If you’re using frozen broccoli, add it during the final 90 seconds.  If using fresh broccoli, toss it in during the final four minutes.

2.  Drain the pasta & broccoli.  Do not rinse.

3.  Toss immediately with the alfredo, pesto, and chicken.

4.  Extra Tip:  If you DO decide to make this into a casserole, under-cook the pasta & broccoli by 1-2 minutes so they don’t get mushy.

 Wondering what I’m doing here?  Learn more about the idea behind Surviving Dinner.


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